Friday, April 26, 2013

Bharti SoftBank to invest $ 7 mn in messaging app \'hike\'

Bharti SoftBank a joint-venture between Bharti Enterprises and SoftBank Corp., focused on the mobile-internet space has said that it would make $7 million fresh investment in hike, its free messaging app. hike is available globally on iOS, Android, WP & S40. The company also recently launched hike beta for Blackberry.

'hike' is a free mobile messaging app that crossed the 5 million users in just four months after its launch on 12/12/12. This makes 'hike' one of the fastest growing free mobile apps globally.

What's unique about hike is its seamless integration between Instant Messaging and SMS. This is a very powerful feature especially in a market like India where more than 90% of the 900 million strong mobile population is on feature phones.

Mike Kayamori, Director, BSB said "The traction for hike has been phenomenal, especially in such a competitive market. This new round of investment is an endorsement, of the great work put in by the entire team. We are really excited to be a part of the journey where we continue to enrich people's core communication experience!"

Kavin Bharti Mittal, Head of Product and Strategy, BSB, states, \"We are thrilled by the phenomenal response we\'ve received over the last couple of months. Crossing such a milestone such a short time, in is no small feat." He further adds "In particular, its great to see that our users love the beautiful user interface and the seamless integration between data messaging and SMS. We\'re also extremely excited to announce hike 2.0 which brings some amazing new features to our amazing users\"

Keeping in line with its focus on building exciting and innovative features, the company has introduced a big update called hike 2.0. The update brings with it Status Updates with Moods that lets users post updates about what they are up to or what they are thinking in real-time to their close friends only. Users can curate a \'Circle of Friends\' in the app to whom the update goes out to. This way one can message anyone on your address book yet still share those more personal moments amongst a closer set of friends.

60% of hike's user base comes from India and the rest global led by Middle East and Europe.
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